Thick and creamy almond milk without fillers. It's a real thing, and I'll tell you how to make it!
I always stayed away from making my own almond milk because I thought it was too difficult, too time consuming, and an inferior product from what you can get in the store.
But really, nothing is further from the truth! Well, I take that back. Some store bought milks are pretty darn good, but so is this - and it's cheaper, really easy, and doesn't have anything besides water and almonds (unless you choose to flavor it).
This is a really easy method for making your homemade almond milk just a little bit thicker and creamier than it already is. You can make it thick enough to use in your coffee (hello homemade almond milk coffee creamer - flavored any way you like!) I really like it with oatmeal too. Flavor combinations are only limited by your creativity! If you're adding spice powders like cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, etc, try adding them before the stove step so that the flavors infuse nicely. That'll also help avoid any of that powdery feel that raw spices can have. You can sweeten it if you want, with maple, agave, honey, whatever.
A cinnamon, honey, turmeric almond milk is sounding pretty good to me, so I might have to make that one tomorrow. :)
Almond skins are naturally high in pectin (so make sure you buy them with the skin if you want it thick!), which is a great benefit when it comes to making things thicker. Pectin is a lot of what gives fruit jam its natural thickness, and to activate pectin, all we have to do it apply some gentle heat to the almond milk.
You want to make sure when you do this that you don't boil your almond milk. That's generally going to result in a separate or curdled product which probably isn't what you're after! Just be sure to keep your heat around medium-low and pull it before it gets too hot.
I have a trick for helping to avoid curdling which is to put your sauce pot in a larger frying pan, which will distribute the heat a little more evenly and gently than if it was directly on the burner. It's not a guarantee, but it's a common kitchen trick that helps to prevent scorching.
My method for making the almond milk is relatively the same as everyone else's. Soak your almonds overnight, blend for 2-3 minutes and strain through nut milk bag (I love the one I used by Ellie's Best - it's nice and big, and you can grab one for a discount with code "simplecaresteph"!
The important step is the cooking, since that's what makes our product thick, or can ultimately destroy it. Ha!
I'll give you the full recipe I used below, but more important than that is learning the method, and it really is as simple as applying some gentle heat. I cooked mine low and slow for about 15 minutes until it was the consistency I was happy with - keeping in mind it will thicken a slight bit more when cooled. You don't have to stir constantly while the milk is still cool, since it will take a few minutes before it actually heats up. Your finger is a great judge of whether or not it's hot! ;)
Once your almond milk has picked up some heat, you want to stir it every few minutes, then stir somewhat constantly once it starts coating the spoon. The movement helps keep the temperature even - the sides of the pot sit against the heat while the middle stays cooler, so stirring helps it heat and thicken evenly.
When you get to the thickness you're after, pull it from the heat and let it cool on the counter until you can pop it in the fridge. If you have an separation issues - they may be fixable, so don't toss it before trying this! Just add your cooked almond milk back to the blender, hit it for about 30 seconds, and restrain through your nut milk bag. You should be good to go! You can do this step even if you don't have any noticeable separation just to make sure you have a super smooth product. In nice kitchens, we always pureed and strained everything to death to make sure things have a silky velvet texture, so it's an easy pro step you can try in your kitchen.
Keep your almond milk in a sealed container, obviously, so it stays fresh. It should last 5-7 days. It will separate naturally because you haven't added any binders, but all ya gotta do is shake it up and enjoy!
Let me know in the comments if you give this a try and or what flavor sounds good to you! Check out the video below to watch the full explanation and the thick almond milk tutorial.
This turned out to be a much longer post than anticipated, lol. I tried to be concise, so not sure how I ended up writing a book. #longwinded
THICK AND CREAMY ALMOND MILK RECIPE